Friday, January 19, 2018

Winner of the Berliner Competition

Sergey Sobolev
Friday, January 19th and Sunday, 21st

Winner of Berliner International Music Competition, 2017

and prizewinner of the Tchaikovsky and Queen Elizabeth Competitions, among others

Friday 19th January, 6pm
Romantic Variations
Haydn: Andante with Variations in F minor

Written in 1793 at the time that Beethoven started taking lessons with Haydn, this piece is described by British composer, John McCabe as, "Haydn's most extended and most resourceful work for the keyboard". This is an enchanting work, starting with two very simple themes and working up to a bold climax that gives cause to wonder whether the pupil influenced the teacher. Strictly speaking this is not a work from the Romantic period. It misses by about a decade. But it is getting close to romanticism and probably one of the most romantic pieces that Haydn wrote. 

Beethoven: 'Eroica Variations'

Beethoven's Variations and Fugue in E Flat, opus 35, written in 1802, is one of the composer's most brilliant and virtuosic set of variations, based on a theme from the Finale movement of Symphony No. 3, Eroica. It is praised by musicologist Charles Timbrell for its grandeur and originality. He writes, "they are bold, cheerful and often humorous" and show none of the torment that Beethoven felt at the time upon realizing that he was slowly going deaf. Although written only nine years after Haydn's F Minor Variations, with this set of variations we can clearly say that we are in the romantic period.

Schumann:  Etudes Symphoniques, opus 13 was published in 1852 and is one of the great works in Schumann's piano repertoire, as well as being at the height of the romantic period. Legend has it that Schumann got the dirge-like theme of the work from the father of a 16-year old girl with whom he was infatuated, Ernestine von Fricken. He was also infatuated with Clara Wieck, at the time. But that's another story.

The Symphonic Etudes combines the variation form with that of the etude, in that each variation poses a technical challenge in the manner of Chopin's Etudes. This is a work that went through numerous permutations. Schumann removed five of the variations. Brahms decided to put them back in. Sergey will play the extended version with the five opus posthumous etudes.

Sunday, 21st January, 5pm

Six sonatas of Alexander Scriabin

 Numbers 2, 6 and 10 and  4, 9 and 5, in that order.

Alexander Scriabin lived a brief 43 years, from 1872 to 1915. But he composed ten piano sonatas as well as a multitude of miniatures for solo piano. The sonatas are his most substantial output. They are often divided into three periods: 

  • first, the early period which is romantic with a clear influence of Chopin 
  • second, the starting to get crazy period where Scriabin explores new tonalities and rhythms and then,
  • finally, the really crazy period, where melodies are more fragmented and the mood is always mysterious and yearning, as with late Liszt.
Scriabin was in a world of his own. But his music always communicates something lyrical and passionate. Even the late sonatas contain romantic melodic fragments.

We will hear six of the ten sonatas, which fit comfortably within a concert program and provide a good selection of all periods.

Sergey playing Scriabin's piano at Scriabin House, Moscow

Sergey Sobolev has visited Eelswamp on three previous occasions and needs no introduction to those who have attended his recitals.  According to at least two members of the audience Sergey's Scriabin was the best they had ever heard. Not surprising as Sergey is a student of one of the great Russian pianists and pedagogues, Mikhail Voskresensky, who was also the teacher of Yury Favorin (whom we heard last May). Voskresensky won a prize at the first Van Cliburn Competition in 1962 and is head of the piano department at Moscow Conservatory. 

Last year Sergey won first prize in the piano section of the Berliner International Music Competition. He performed his winning recital in the Berlin Philharmonic Hall. He is also a prizewinner of two of the world's most prestigious piano competitions: the Tchaikovsky Competition, Moscow and The Queen Elizabeth Competition, Belgium. Sergey has also won prizes in The Liszt Weimar Competition, Nikolai Rubinstein Competition, Scriabin International Competition Moscow and the Santander Competition.

Sergey puts a lot of thought into his programs, making them interesting and thematic and always considering the enjoyment of the audience. Please join me for these two wonderful programs.

Reservations: 1,200 baht for one concert. 2,000 baht for two in the same series. 

Email or call 038 069681 office hours. Due to limited number of places payment must be received before the day.

Tickets: No tickets will be issued for concerts. Admission to the music room on the day of the concert will be in accordance with the sequence of receipt of payment (ie, who pays first goes in first and can select their desired seat).

Cancellations and credits: Credit will be allowed for future concerts in the event of cancellation provided that the concert for which the original booking was made breaks even.

Directions to Eelswamp: search for 'Eelswamp' on google maps. Directions can be found at the bottom of this page:

Taxi service to EelswampGrabtaxi Just enter "Eelswamp" in the destination box.

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